I have decided to blog today about chronic pain and illness in an effort to order off depression, the depression that have been feeling for months. Every semester I enrol in university studies in an attempt to finish something I started 10 years ago and then I withdrawal when the pain becomes too much. I enrol in the first place because I’m bored and then when I withdraw the inevitable depression overcomes me. Right now I’m using DragonDictate type this because my chronic wrist pain is bad but the software drives me nuts and please forgive any errors or a lack of punctuation because I’m not going to go through it with my hands and fix all the errors because it will just be putting myself in more pain and so I hope it makes sense. The other thing that drives me nuts are self-help chronic pain and chronic illness books that are full of inspiration and hope and you can do it and this person who suffers from this and was able to do this blah blah blah. This may be helpful for the sort of people who enjoy watching Oprah that I am cynical and I am constantly in pain so inspirational achievement is not what I’m looking for. Having chronic pain creates problems beyond the pain itself. Firstly we need to battle our own expectations of our ability to achieve things that we expected of ourselves and we were well. Secondly there are other people’s expectations of what we should be able to achieve and basically what we need to do is tell if people to Fuck off. Even if we only do it in our own minds because sometimes the people who place expectations upon us that we can’t meet our family and/or friends who we rely on. Obviously people who are not in constant pain/illness also face these situations and they should also tell people with to high expectations to fuck off.
Beyond trying to manage our own and other people’s expectations, it really is necessary to manage our lives in a way that is best for our own health and well-being. For me, that has meant giving up work trying to give up uni but it seems to be an addiction, trying not to spend too much time on social media but because I don’t work that is hard because I’m constantly bored. Now it’s my boredom so it is my responsibility to do something about it. My partner, my friends and my family and NOT responsible for my happiness. However the thing about depression is finding what makes you happy can be really tricky and for me I need to find things that make me happy that don’t exacerbate my back pain or my wrist paying all my breathing problems. Or if it does exacerbate my pain then to do it mindfully in small doses, just like a need to try to manage how much house work I do and any other activity so that I don’t overdo it. Everyone, not just those with chronic pain/illness, need to manage their lives in a similar way by prioritising what is most important and finding a way to meet responsibilities such as pets or children or family who need help. The thing is that with chronic pain/illness we need to find a way to do those things too and sometimes that means making choices that we never ever want to make, like prioritising health over employment/money or choosing not to have sole responsibility over a pet or not being able to assist friends and family because of the need to prioritise our own health. We don’t all start the day with the same number of “spoons” (or marbles or whatever metaphorical visual device works for you) so we need to be sensible and not overcommit. My number one priority is my partner and my own health. I miss working, I miss studying, I miss being able to sit in the coffee shop without pain, to be able to take notes from a history book without pain, to be able to play a video game without paying, to be able to chop a vegetable without pain. This I just missed the feeling of not being in pain, well actually it’s an idea, because I can’t remember what it’s like to not being pain.
I am hoping that by talking about it more on my blog I can go a bit easier on myself in my mind I can get out my frustration, especially the frustration I’m feeling now since I had steroid injections and my wrists are just as painful as they were before. The frustration of not being able to find a solution and the letdown after hope is excruciating.